Handy dating tool for business : changing culture for changing times

Dating tool for business

Are you creative?  Do you look for innovative solutions? Why use a dating tool?

Is your supply chain up in the air?  Are you questioning your relationship with your current suppliers? Are you looking for new customers and clients?

If so do you really get on with some customers, do some suppliers just not get how you work?

Like any relationship , business really works when both parties understand each others needs.  Maybe its time to set up a business dating tool?

Creatives and Non Creatives

In relationships opposites do attract and sometimes they work really well. Then again, in may cases unfortunately they don’t.

A creative free spirit and a non creative control freak are not often a good match.  The same is true for business.  But it is not always true,  in times of change different personalities can really help a situation.  The trick is to recognise your differences and work together to solve the problem you are both facing.

So, why is this important to business now and what has this to do with business culture?

The answer is that all businesses have their own ‘culture’ ranging from complete control from the centre to complete autonomy of agents working to a collective goal.  If you don’t understand your culture you may not understand why some customers, clients or suppliers can’t fit in with your business.  Or if you are a B2B provider you may be totally frustrated by the way a new client operates.  Maybe if you had understood their culture you could have either avoided them or adapted the way you operate.

In these times of dramatic change it is really important that we all learn to understand how we operate and that’s where Mr Charles Handy steps in…

Charles Handy….a voice from the past

Business is based around society and we have been studying society since the Ancient Greeks.  If you want to understand how society works the answer has been written.  If you don’t believe us, type in ‘management books on business culture‘ in Amazon…you will get a choice of over 4,000 books!  Amongst them is Handy…we love his books because they don’t always offer simple answers, instead they offer simple ways to understand how our complicated business cultures work.

Leadership techniques and management styles are always being given a new lick of paint by the new business gurus.  If you scratch their surfaces you will often find that their answers are built on Handy‘s understanding of business culture, based on the premise that there is no such thing as the right or best culture, just the most appropriate culture for the changing world around it!

Our dating advice based on Handy

So let’s look at this from the individual that is approaching the new business (this works in reverse if you are a business looking to work with a new individual).  Like all good dating sites we need to understand a few things about your personality.  So a couple of questions to ask yourself.

Where are you on the scale between super creative to more happy delivering repetitive tasks reliably and accurately?

Where are you on the scale between wanting complete control of what you do to happy to be told exactly what to do and when?

Now here are your choices of types of businesses to work with:

Power Culture

This business usually has a lack of formal rules, but does have a powerful individual or small group at its head! You do what your told and don’t rock the boat you will be fine!

Suits you?  If not take a deep breath , this business might well have been guided in the right direction by its leaders and won’t need your services.  However if this business has taken the wrong track or really can’t figure out where to go next it will need your services.  The trick with a relationship is to understand how it works.  You are unlikely to become best buddies but there may be a moment in time where you can work constructively with them as long as they allow you some space to do what you do.

Task Culture

This business has very few rules, generally quite organic in form, loves achieving results and sharing skills.  It is task focused based on teams who just get things done.  Everyone in these teams is expected to contribute equally.  We’ll let you figure out how you could work with these folk.

Person Culture

This business purely exists to serve its members or collectively pursue its aim which couldn’t be done individually!  Its all about the people in it rather than the business itself.  The focus is on the individual rather than the business.  Again we will leave you to work out how you would fit with them.

Role Culture

Now, this business is usually more than a bit bureaucratic!  Authority lies in highly controlled, enforced rules, systems and procedures…everyone has a role that comes with a responsibility and a do it our way attitude!  Have a think how this fits with you.

From the business perspective

So to use the descriptions to figure out what type of business culture you are.  Think about your clients and supply chain, and plot them.  Then think what are you trying to fix and what type of person/approach this would require.  Think about the change around us and ask what’s the ‘most appropriate’ culture needed NOW?  Now really think how your business can get the best from them…this may require a little bit of give and take…but all good relationships are built on this.

On It?

We will talk about this more at our On It Club…just give us a shout at Thomas Jardine & Co.


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